In re Maatita (Fed. Cir. 2018) On August 20, 2018, the Federal Circuit reversed a PTAB decision finding a design application as being not enabled and indefinite because it was unclear whether petitioner’s single, 2-dimensional plan view included indentations or protrusions.  The court ruled that §112 is based on whether the claim gives a potential infringer adequate notice of infringing the claim.  The court found that an ordinary observer can understand the claimed design from the 2-dimensional plan view, which gives adequate notice of potential infringement, stating:

“[T]he fact that shoe bottoms can have three-dimensional aspects does not change the fact that their ornamental design is capable of being disclosed and judged from a two-dimensional, plan- or planar-view perspective—and that Maatita’s two-dimensional drawing clearly demonstrates the perspective from which the shoe bottom should be viewed. A potential infringer is not left in doubt as to how to determine infringement. In this case, Maatita’s decision not to disclose all possible depth choices would not preclude an ordinary observer from understanding the claimed design, since the design is capable of being understood from the two-dimensional, plan- or planar-view perspective shown in the drawing.”